This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
For more than 40 years, American presidents have talked about the need for the U.S. to become energy-independent. Easy to talk about, difficult to make happen. But some recent discoveries could mean a giant leap in that direction. We begin this hour talking about energy and whether it's the kind that burns to power the internal combustion engine in your car, or the kind that harnesses wind to turn on the lights in your house.
Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.
Initiative 300, which banned fracking within Longmont city limits, passed in November despite oil and gas companies raising close to a half million dollars toward defeat of the measure. The ban will now face an industry legal challenge.
The population boom in Williston, N.D., has been a blessing and a curse for many local businesses. Williston, the fastest growing small city in America, is enjoying an oil boom and has seen its population double in the past two years.
At the city's brand new McDonald's, manager Vern Brekhus struggles every day to maintain his staff of nearly 100 workers.